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This is the hundred and fifty eighth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Lisa Greenwood as Phillipa ‘Flip’ Jackson. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1. It is the third in a trilogy of adventures featuring new companion Flip, but you don’t need to hear the preceding adventures to get right into this.

After the superb preceding two adventures, which dished up non stop fun along with some mind bending and thoughtful aspects, this adventure rounds out the trilogy in a bravura fashion with a dark and chilling tale set in that old Whoniverse standby, the remote and isolated base. Some years after the events of ‘Ark In Space’, the Sixth Doctor and Flip are visiting Nerva City when they are accidentally transmatted to a remote Scottish outpost. After quickly establishing this week’s supporting characters the tale soon becomes a desperate fight for survival for the small group as things at the base start to go wrong and a certain alien threat long thought defeated makes it’s presence felt. There are even darker undercurrents as the history of the family stranded in the outpost is slowly revealed and the full horror of the situation comes to light. Then, suddenly, the production changes gear and instead of a struggle for survival for a small close knit set of characters the threat suddenly becomes world wide, and the Doctor has to save a planet as well as an individual. It’s a brilliantly done piece, full of great action set pieces (in which Flip shines even more than she has previously done) and dark underlying horror. It’s a satisfying end to this trilogy, and leaves us begging for more Six/Flip adventures. 5 stars.
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Latest Doctor Who audio play. Featuring Colin Baker as the Doctor, and Lisa Greenwood as his latest companion. Twenty first century British teenager Philippa 'Flip' Jackson. This is the third in a trilogy featuring these two. But all the parts of it are self contained. Casual listeners should thus have no problem getting into this one. A couple of casual remarks about events in the previous two may confuse if you haven't heard them, but they have no bearing on the story in this, so it shouldn't be a problem.

This one runs for four episodes of roughly twenty six to twenty nine minutes each [approx] and is spread over two cd's.

It's a sequel of sorts to popular tv story Doctor Who - The Ark In Space [1974] [DVD] [1963] [and the only people reading this will have seen that, so no further detail about it is required]. It's set forty years after that one, and details the trials and tribulations of those who were on the beacon and were awakened to go and re-colonise the Earth.

In the region of Earth that was once known as Scotland, the Buchman family are attempting to survive and prosper. They get by on food stuffs that they forage locally. There's a central city elsewhere called Nerva city, from which all colonists leave via a teleport device to reach their new home.

But things aren't entirely well with the Buchmans. The reasons for which aren't initially forthcoming. Then the Doctor and Flip arrive in their midst. And they can't get back to the TARDIS.

As the Doctor discovers that the Wirrn are back, he and Flip and the Buchmans face a fight for survival in a frozen landscape.

And so does the rest of the human race...

This is the best kind of sequel, in that it doesn't just try to copy the original. It takes what made that good and also strikes out in a new direction story wise. There's a lot of the latter here. With an interesting location for the story. And a lot of character drama. All the supporting characters do things that arise out of character, rather than requirements of the plot.

There are some excellent moments of understated horror, as realisations slowly sink in. For the characters and the listener.

It does feel early on like it could be a classic 'base under siege' story, like so many stories on the show that have humans in a remote location being menaced by monsters. But things do go in a rather different direction.

One plot element that does add to the subtle horror is good but may feel a bit familiar from certain tv stories. But that's no fault to this.

A couple of moments might work a bit better visually than on audio.

And the last episode does involve a lot of running around before things are dealt with. And then the ending is a little quick.

But those are minor complaints.

The Doctor/Flip dynamic is excellent, and it states just why and how at a few points in the story. And also in a decent ending. Here's hoping for more of these two soon. In another trilogy that's just as good as this one.

You can hear fifteen minutes [approx] of the music from the story on the final few tracks of disc one.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range on the track after part four on disc two.

And just over fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the track after that.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 21 December 2015
This story is the 158th release in the Big Finish Main Range, and features the Sixth Doctor, as played by Colin Baker. It is the third and final story in the trilogy which has the Sixth Doctor accompanied by Flip Jackson, played by Lisa Greenwood.

In this story we already know that we are going to be confronted by the Wirrn, the alien parasitic giant insect-like creatures first encountered by the Fourth Doctor in the tv story from 1975, The Ark in Space. That was a great story, and told of the Ark, a great repository of humanity, which was to remain safe from an Earth impacted by solar flares, and to be ready to repopulate the Earth when it was safe once again. The Ark, when found by the Fourth Doctor, with Sarah Jane and Harry, has been invaded by the Wirrn. In that story, the transmat technology used by the humans played a vital role, and this aspect of human technology is again heavily featured in this new audio story.

The Wirrn have also appeared in another Big Finish story, Wirrn Dawn, which was released in 2009, and which featured the Eighth Doctor, with his companion Lucie Miller. Of course, the Sixth Doctor (in this audio story released in 2012) doesn’t know of his future incarnation’s encounter with the Wirrn.

Wirrn Isle takes place some forty years since the colonists of Nerva Beacon (from The Ark in Space) have returned to repopulate Earth. The Buchman family are trying to forge a new life for themselves in the sparsely populated area which once was Loch Lomond. They had lived there some fifteen years previously, but had been forced to move back to Nerva City. Now, Roger, his wife Veronica, and their daughter Toasty are back. The Doctor and Flip had been in Nerva City, but an ill-advised transmat has found them turning up unexpectedly at Loch Lomond. There, they find themselves stranded with the Buchmans; and with something else.

I really liked the aspects of this story which started off as a ‘base under siege’ and quickly turned into something quite different. The backstory of the Buchman family is a real underlying thread in the story, which, when pulled, opens up a whole new vista of tragedy and sorrow. There is a real ‘humanity’ in this story, which is really important when it follows on from a story like The Ark in Space. It is the human-ness of the characters, and their stories, which really makes it what it is. Mix in to that the Sixth Doctor, with his very un-human-like qualities, and his very twenty-first century human companion, Flip, and you have a really good opportunity to bring out and develop the characters in a very character-driven story. This has been done really well. I really liked the revisiting of the Wirrn, who were, and remain one of my favourite classic Doctor Who aliens.

The supporting cast, including Tim Bentinck, Jenny Funnell, Tessa Nicholson, Rikki Lawton, Dan Starkey and Helen Goldwyn were really excellent in their roles; they sank their teeth into the characters and really gave it their all, I thought. There were two minor letdowns for me in this story. One was the character of Flip Jackson, and the rather one-dimensional playing of that character by Lisa Greenwood. The other letdown for me was the ending of the story, which didn’t really play out as in any way realistic or feasible, given the circumstances, the players, and the story itself. Other than that, a very likeable story, and one that does the Wirrn proud.
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First encountered by the Doctor's Fourth incarnation back in 1975, the Wirrn are an insectoid race with the rather anti-social habit of laying their eggs inside human hosts, who then become Wirrn themselves. This time around, the Sixth Doctor and his current travelling companion 'Flip' arrive in a futuristic Scotland, where the Wirrn have attempted to invade and where a group of humans are attempting to rescue one of their number using transmat technology, after he was inadvertently transmatted inside an adult Wirrn.
The icy setting, strong characterisations, and intriguing story, all add-up to a decent piece of drama, and whilst certainly not the strongest BF offering of recent years, it's still a worthwhile listen.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2012
"Wirrn Isle" is a curiously hybrid beast, rather like the Wirrn-human fusion we encounter in this story.

Though intended to exploit the popularity of "Doctor Who - The Ark In Space [1974] [DVD] [1963]", in particular the insect foes faced by the Fourth Doctor in that serial (as explained during the 15 minutes of interviews at the end of Disc Two), the first half of "Wirrn Isle" could have featured any creature really. Here human intelligence is combined with an insect body not via the Wirrn's usual method of absorbing the knowledge of their prey, but as the result of a transmat accident. Thus William Gallagher's script plays out more like a "Doctor Who" spin on "The Fly" than a follow-up to "The Ark in Space".

Many of his character names don't reflect the earlier serial either. Whereas in 1975 we had exotic, futuristic names such as Vira, Rogin, Lycett and Libri, here we meet a husband-and-wife team, Roger and Veronica Buchman (Tim Bentinck and Jenny Funnell), whose names appear to be deliberately mundane versions of Rogin and Vira. They have given their children the rather bizarre monikers of Iron and Toasty (Rikki Lawton and the endearingly voiced Tessa Nicholson). Of the Nerva descendants, only Paul (Glynn Sweet) seems like an authentic name to me, being a Biblically inspired designation for a leader, like Noah in "Ark". Nor do these humans use the peculiar and precise speech patterns of Vira's crew, though this could be a result of cultural blending with GalSec colonists - of whom we meet a couple of examples in the final two episodes.

Don't get me wrong: the first half of "Wirrn Isle" is exciting and gripping enough, especially the tense scenes in which Flip (Lisa Greenwood) is trapped on Loch Lomond, affixed to the ice by her own frozen blood. It just doesn't feel much like a sequel to "The Ark in Space".

That situation improves during the second half of the story, in which the scope of the threat is opened out and we meet GalSec descendants Sheer and Dare (Dan Starkey and Helen Goldwyn), who sport "Sontaran Experiment"-inspired South African accents.

Sound designer Simon Robinson creates a different sound for the transmat beam than the effect used in "The Ark in Space" and "Doctor Who - The Sontaran Experiment [1975] [DVD] [1963]", though his incidental score is more authentic, evoking the era of the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) by being more conspicuously electronic than a lot of other composers' recent music for Big Finish. Just under 15 minutes of this music can be heard at the end of Disc One.

Despite my quibbles, it's been great having a new dynamic to the TARDIS crew during this Sixth Doctor and Flip trilogy. I look forward to hearing from them again.
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